Ilhan Omar’s Foreign Affairs Committee Removal Reeks of Racism, Revenge
House Republicans voted Thursday to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the prestigious Foreign Affairs Committee, citing objections to antisemitic comments Omar has made in the past. But given the Republicans’ own history of antisemitism, does anyone on their own side of the aisle even believe this flimsy excuse?
True, Omar has faced criticism for problematic comments about Israel, for which she has apologized. But this is coming from the party of the infamous “Kanye. Elon. Trump” tweet:
And let’s not forget this classic example of bigotry from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy:
Both deleted, but the internet never forgets.
So what’s really going on here? Republicans haven’t been shy about the fact that one of their main motivations is some good old-fashioned REVENGE. When Nancy Pelosi removed GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Paul Gosar from committees, McCarthy vowed to retaliate, and he wasn’t kidding. Last week he unilaterally blocked Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the Intelligence Committee.
Never mind that Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar have never talked about Jewish space lasers or incited violence against their colleagues.
But there’s an extra layer of bigotry to the targeting of the Minnesota congresswoman from Minnesota. In Omar’s own words before the vote,
There is this idea that you are suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or a certain skin tone or a Muslim. It is no accident that Republicans accused the first Black president Barack Obama of being a secret Muslim. It is no accident that former president Donald Trump led a birther movement that falsely claimed he was born in Kenya. Because to them, falsely labeling the first and only Black president of the United States of America a Muslim and African immigrant somehow made him less American. Well, I am Muslim. And I am an immigrant. And interestingly I am from Africa. Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t hold back in her fiery defense of Omar, calling out the “targeting and racism against Muslim Americans throughout the United States of America” and in particular the right’s “incitement of violence against women of color in this body.”
But this woman of color will not be sidelined. As Omar said on the House floor, “I am an American, an American who was sent here by her constituents to represent them in Congress … someone who knows what it means to have a shot at a better life in the United States and someone who believes in the American dream and the American possibility and the promise and the ability to participate in the Democratic process. That is what this debate is about.”
It’s worth watching the video in full:
(featured image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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